The Big Hairy Experiment

Life is like one big race; we all start from the blocks and take off from there. Some will only be in the race briefly, some much longer but all fall away at some time or another.

The race of life is very similar to the treadmill called social media.  It certainly feels like a race, trying to move forward; and some are able to stay in the race longer than others. We are out there churning and burning, just hoping to gain some traction and keep moving forward and being noticed, right?

I am hearing a lot of rumblings about social media fatigue so I thought I would post this.

What if you didn’t post for a month?

For some this would be shut the doors, financial disaster. Everything you have gained at this point could very well be gone.

But what if your strategy for social media is more for networking and branding as you build your ‘brick and mortar’ business? You are building quite the crowd, but how much business is it generating? Who are you really reaching, are these potential customers, or do they look just like you?
The big question is, would you be missed? How long do you think you would lay on the floor before somebody checked on you? The bigger question is, name the two people who would look for you first?
You are out there, trying to hang with the big boys; you just want someone to see you, right? And you have certainly done your share of heavy lifting. Be truthful, name two people who will never know you are gone.
What if you didn’t comment for a month? 
A different scenario, but we all know commenting and engaging is where most of our ‘visibility’ comes from.
Certainly some sites ‘engage’ more than others. You drop by and see the ‘who’s who’ crowd and every one else who thinks this is where you are supposed to be. You can actually jump in and it’s pretty easy to join the conversation.
But what if you your big experiment was a 30-day moratorium. It would certainly free up a huge amount of your time, but at what cost? If you are just ‘gone’ who do you think will be the first two people to reach out to you? Will people still come by your place?
The big experiment
I ask this because I’ve had the opportunity to talk with people in my community who feel like they are doing all the ‘right’ things but it still seems like such a struggle.
I don’t know much but know this; social media can be fickle and appear harsh, uncaring at times. And usually not intentional, it’s just the nature of the beast.
I also know you should enjoy the community you have; whereas you might have one or two people on the radar who you feel would validate you if they would just reach out to you, show up at your place, don’t sell yourself short. They all started somewhere too; be prepared to make your own way.
Love the one you are with
We all have a tendency to want what our friends have. We do all this work, send out invites, but it’s our neighbor that seems to be having all the fun.
If you enjoy what you are doing, just keep your head down and keep doing it. If your definition of success is to ‘make it’ with a certain crowd, then you might be disappointed. Trust me, ‘they‘ see you; if ‘they‘ aren’t coming to your place now ‘they‘ probably never will no matter how many times you comment at their place. Don’t take it personally, because it’s not; it’s the fickleness of social media. Don’t get hung up on the ‘theys‘ because ‘they‘ are just ‘us‘ at a different point in the journey.
If you want an excellent primer on this, check out Margie’s Sunday post.
If you had to make a choice, what would you give up first for 30-days; coffee or the internet?

61 thoughts on “The Big Hairy Experiment

  1. Bill,

    My one and only thought (yes, that happens sometimes!) is Jack (@TheJackB). With his grandfather just dying can he and will he feel like everyone cares even if he slows down posting for a bit? I’m sure his friends will understand. Just sayin…as they say.

    • Very well said Betsy; what Jack is dealing with is what is really important. Everything else pales in comparison, I can assure you. Life events are what helps you keep things in proper perspective.

      Thanks for coming by today and sharing your thoughts.

    • Agreed Besty, there is the online banter we involve ourselves in everyday. The questions we have about traffic, comments, blogging…as Bill said the struggle of blogging.
      THen there is real life, real pain, real loss that Jack is going through. This is what truly matters. Everything else is navel gazing.

      • Speaking of navel gazing; I think I’m going to start a niche site for navel lint brushes.

        Hey John, I think we sometimes get hung up on things that really don’t matter in the big scheme of things at times. We really don’t need to sweat the small stuff, huh?

        Good to see you.

    • I like writing so this is relaxing for me. I try not to get too caught up in the “numbers” and just do my best to take what comes.

      And FWIW, I have no misconceptions about what would happen if I stopped blogging. Some people would check on me but most people wouldn’t notice. I am ok with that, we all have busy lives.

  2. Hey Bill,
    You are asking a question that many suspect has an unpleasant answer – my guess is that if one quits blogging they probably won’t be missed that much. My solution to the problem is to put blogging in proper perspective with realistic goals. Blogging is not my livelihood so I can do this. I look for 10-15% increase in traffic each month but contain my blogging and social media activities to under an hour each day.

    • I’m afraid you are right Riley, with the exception of a few you might just fade away without even a blip on the radar.

      If you are not monetizing per se, an hour a day is probably a healthy amount.

      You are really gaining some traction at your place; great job.

      Thanks for stopping by today and hope you have a great week.

    • wow, an hour a day. I like the sound of that.This is what I aspire to! possibly I’m putting my energies in the wrong places. Hmmmm, food for thought.
      I did this experiment for real when I moved to posts and very little if any commenting or social media. What happened? Well the traffic on my blog reduced significantly as did the engagement. I got a few emails from people who cared about me as well as my blog and I learned a few harsh lessons about managing my life in a more balanced way. I’d like to think that if I stopped blogging tomorrow…there would be a few people who would scratch their heads then make contact to see all was well….but until you do it, experientially or’ll never really know!

      • Hey, I checked up on you……………

        And maybe it’s not so much someone just doesn’t care; it’s just they aren’t fully aware of what is going on around them because they are so caught up the their ‘own stuff’.

        I just know I’ve talked with some frustrated people and I don’t really have an answer for them.

        An hour a day would be good…………………..but I’m addicted now………….:)

        Good to see you ma’am.

      • Hay Stacey

        I sure would be missing you if you stopped blogging
        and i sure would ask about you or leave a comment
        asking how to get a hold of you.

  3. Bill, I’m there.

    I simply can’t post right now. Life has offered up challenges and demands that require my attention in a way that supersedes social media. And who notices? Well…you did. Because you are a rare kind of friend in the world of social media. And I have some other new blogger friends who might notice my absence. But the folks who really miss me are the small circle of people who have been with me from the beginning. They aren’t “in” social media circles, they’re in my circles and they read the blog because it offers something from me to them that they deeply appreciate. Some of those who are the most ardent followers have never left a comment.

    Social media and its metrics are beginning to overwhelm me. But those connections to those people who somehow benefit from the journey we take via my blog mean the world to me. That is why I will eventually be back. But it won’t be for the sake of social media standing. It will be because I write what I need to remember, and what someone else somewhere else may need to hear. And my absence while I shore up the structure of the rest of my life won’t matter to those few who truly care about those messages. They’ll just be glad to hear from me when I’m back. And they’ll pray me through these in between times.

    • Mimi, I am so with you on the “social media and its metrics are beginning to overwhelm me.” Bill knows that’s why I’m changing direction slightly, adjusting my sails to the wind and re-evaluating and re-prioritizing.

      I write to inform, educate, entertain, encourage and support others in the work they do and the lives they live. I will continue to do so, but with more of a focus on business. And I will not worry about the metrics for now. All they do is add stress and TMI to an already busytizzy world. Cheers! Kaarina

      • Seeing and buying are two different things. I think the metrics really only apply to a very small percentage in terms of dollars. You might say you have influence, but it’s like saying I have a lot of followers or I get a lot of comments; at the end of the day what does that really mean or what did that do for you.

        Social media is definitely here, but it is still hard to get your arms around in terms of making it a sustainable business for you.

    • ‘because I write what I need to remember, and what someone else somewhere else may need to hear’. Very well said ma’am and I think it will help keep things in perspective.

      I have been thinking about you and your current tribulations and just hope things get back on track for you soon.

      I appreciate knowing you and what you have to offer as a friend and a person. That’s enough for me.

      Thanks for stopping by, it is appreciated ma’am.

    • It’s kind of funny, but the friendships I have developed since I’ve been in and people who I thought were on somewhat of a parallel path seem to be coming to their own crossroads at the same time. Is it just summer, or is it just too much……………hmmmm, I don’t know?

  4. Hey Bill

    Another great question and one for which there (in my opinion) is no obvious answer. At least no obvious answer that will work for everyone.

    I think it depends on why you showed up in the blogosphere/social media/internet in the first place. It if it is just for pure activity, a one month hiatus could be detrimental. However, I think our efforts should be about much more than just activity, it has to be about productivity.

    I am here (blog/social media/internet) primarily to communicate my brand. I believe that first impressions are not longer made face to face, but instead are made based on what someone learns (or doesn’t learn) about me online. If I want to influence the brand perception a prospect/partner/client has of me, the things I write about online are my first opportunity.

    I expect that when I set a meeting with a prospect, they will Google “Kevin Trokey” or “Benefits Growth Network”. I have made sure (or at least that is my goal ) that what they find will help them learn about how I/we will bring value once they become a client.

    In this case, I don’t think an unusually long hiatus (while not recommended) would be a death sentence. I should be able to pick right back up where I left off

    However, if I looked at my online presence as the electronic equivalent of cold calling then quantity will be my primary measure. (If I’m not careful, that could cause me to fall into the trap of focusing on activity versus productivity.)

    In this case, I think that unusually long hiatus could prove very detrimental. The “pipeline” could dry up and you would have to build that momentum from scratch.

    As always, I enjoy reading about what’s going on in the mind of “Bill Dorman – Invisible Blogger”!

    • I think you have a good grasp on what you are trying to achieve and a realistic expectation. If you see my comment to Kaarina, I think some people get too focused on their numbers and lose site of what they are all about.

      I know I have a much broader reach in the social media world, but I also know how much time and effort it took me to build my ‘brick and mortar’ business. I would suspect if I was going to try and monetize my online efforts it would take as much if not more work to achieve the same results. I get the feeling some people think it should be easier than it is just because they have good measurement.

      We are re-launching the LUI site this wk or next with a blog and I’ll give you a heads-up. It will be the first ‘real’ thing I will be blogging about…………:). I’m sure that will scare all my social friends off, huh?

      Good to see you buddy, hope all is well and thanks for coming by.

  5. Hi Bill,

    If I don’t blog for 30 days, the world would not get the benefit of my wisdom or my insanity. i write to keep myself sane, plus I eventually want to make my living doing this, so I could not do that, not for 30day.

    I can see it being useful to others though – but for me it would be a disaster. I have slowed down on commenting a bit. I

    No coffee or no internet? Uhhhhh,,,,,,,,,,,I need both! I need coffee more though. 🙂

    • And the world would certainly miss your wisdom and insanity………..:).

      I wanted to make my living being a male gigolo, but after only getting replies from 2 grandmothers and I ended up washing one of their cars and cutting the other’s grass I figured I might want to try something else.

      Personally, I think people would know I’m gone because I’m so active; however, I’m not sure who I would nominate to reach out to me first. I have a pretty good idea however, but I don’t think I’m ready to test it yet………

      I would probably have to vote for coffee too if it came down to an either/or.

      Good luck w/ your big scheme of things plans. Good to see you today.

      For some reason I thought your birthday was the 9th (I knew it was one day off of mine). Shame on me for not paying closer attention; please don’t break out Louisville…….:)

  6. Hey Bill, I stepped away for 1/3rd of a month – 10 days – and it was OK. I wouldn’t want to be gone for much more than that, unless, of course, it’s to take my next big trip which would be about 19 days away! By then, hopefully my blog will have grown so that other members of the community could hold down the fort while I’m gone.
    Your question – not posting, not commenting for a month? I think we all know there are many who read but don’t comment and by engaging in the conversation at other blogs we support the bloggers while we enjoy our time there. If I had to give up one thing it would have to be posting. [I can’t believe I’m saying this – I LOVE posting!] You yourself are proof that relationships can be built without a blog, but can they be maintained without commenting? I don’t know if I’d risk that! Sure, it might seem easier to host all the parties and invite the guests and never set foot off your property (easier but not more fun) but after a while, I suspect people would stop attending your parties. There has to be an exchange for it to feel right,I think.
    Did I answer your question? I’m not sure!
    But then again, without posting, what will you be monetizing, when that time comes? Interesting!

    • I’m going to start selling pictures of myself………in various action poses. I’m just not confident I can monetize my writing……….probably not my photos either but pictures are probably an easier sell.

      At some point I think I could see myself doing some speaking and maybe a blend of my core business and social media. If I was just getting started in business, maybe I would have more of a fire under me to get something like this done; but for now, I’m ok with the slow and easy route.

      I could be wrong, but if I quit commenting I think I would lose at least half of my audience w/in a wk or two. I really enjoy commenting and think I’m a much better commenter than blog poster, but I’m actually liking the writing as well.

      Yes, I do feel some type of exchange is important.

      So good to see you today and thanks for coming by. Frank’s a good guy, I’m glad you picked him for a guest post.

  7. Don’t sell yourself short Bill, you’re a pretty darn good writer if you ask me. I always enjoy coming here, as you have a fresh and refreshing perspective. Also you’re not afraid to say what many others are thinking. I like that!

    As for social media “fatigue”, I must admit it happens to me from time to time in a mild form. I just stay away one day from twitter, commenting etc. and next day I can’t wait to connect again. It can be really rewarding to take a step back for a while.

    Something that made me think recently was the fact that a friend of mine stopped blogging for a couple of weeks and he told me his traffic took a huge plunge (as in almost zero). I think that’s the sobering truth: as long as you’re not an A-player it’s give in order to receive. Stop giving and that may as well be the end…


    • I’m afraid you are right buddy; us below the ‘A’ level don’t have the luxury of just going away for a week or two unless we want to practically start over.

      My take on it is, if I get tired of it I will just shut it down. I got to where it is now and I can certainly do it again. Who knows, second time around I might be a lot smarter about some things, huh?

      I appreciate the compliments, I’m glad you think I’m readable. Sometimes I feel I need to be a little deeper and other times, just keep doing what you are doing.

      So good to see you Wim; hope all has been well with you.

  8. Hey Bill, I would miss you. I really would. Samantha has been gone about a month and I really miss her. Jens was gone (he checked in a few times) about a month and I missed him too.

    I truly delight in my online friends and do miss some who have dropped out of sight on the Web.

    I’m about to go Off The Grid (OTG) for 10 days. Will anyone come back to my blog when I return? I’m re-publishing some articles I wrote earlier in the year, before I had much of an audience, of tech I want my readers to know about. I’m calling it Wonder of Tech All Stars.

    I don’t think LUI handles this sort of insurance, but if you do, I have a topic for your serious blog. My husband wants to get a retirement home on the West Coast of Florida but wants to buy it now (way ahead of retirement) when the housing prices are low. But I have heard that homeowners insurance in Florida is outrageously expensive. Again, I’m not sure you handle that sort of thing at all, but it’s a topic all of us not blessed to live in Florida wonder about.

    I hope you don’t take a month off Bill. But if you do, I would really miss you. 🙂

    • First of all, you can never pay too much for insurance…………………or, have too much of it……………..:). My first post on our site will reference buying the ‘right’ homeowners insurance, I will let you know when it comes out.

      I don’t personally do homeowners insurance but we have a Private Client Group that would be more than happy to help you.

      Our state insurance department does not make it easy for company’s to get their rates filed and subsequently have pulled out of the state. Some inadequately funded start-ups have taken their place which is not a good thing.

      Bottom line, we have a somewhat limited quality market but we do have markets. The homeowners policy itself will not be too expensive, but you will probably have to buy a separate flood policy which will cost about the same and depending on your exact location, might have to buy wind coverage as well. Oh yeah, don’t forget your property taxes………………:). Lovely, huh?

      I have to tell you, I am struggling with the fact I still have no direction and feel I should be a lot farther down the road with the amount of time I’ve invested. It seems at times I get so far down in the weeds I don’t give myself ‘thinking’ time to develop a strategy. Maybe I’m just making too much of it right now.

      So good to see you and I’m thinking you will be stuck with me for awhile. Did I make the tech All Stars? I do have an iPod……………just sayin’…………

      Have a good week.

  9. This is a timely post for me. It’s funny because everyone in “the circle” seems to be talking about social media fatigue and priorities at the same time I have decided to completely redo the direction of my blog. For me it’s simpler in some ways. I came to blogging for business, so I am looking to make sure the majority of my efforts contribute to that. For that, I have decided I need more focused content and more disciplined engagement. As of this coming Saturday, I’m on a new plan.

    I don’t think that shorts the relationships or community part, and certainly doesn’t mean the end of being social — it just means a different strategy.

    As to your question… I don’t think I would quit blogging or commenting for that long, but if I did, I don’t have any delusions that the Internet would stop or anything in my absence. For heaven’s sake, it’s not like my name’s Bill Dorman or anything. 🙂

    • Business = money; money = happy mama; and we all know when mama’s happy everybody it happy……….:).

      I got into the blogging just because I thought you were supposed to. At some point I thought it would be business directed but I think I’m going to take a different approach. Our corporate site is re-launching this wk or next and we will have a blog. I will probably use this for my business views and from time to time provide a link from my social site in case anybody wants to check it out.

      It might not seem like it, but I have cut back on commenting quite a bit. As much as I love some of these peeps, I only have so much time and if they feel I’m not providing enough value for them to stop by here then maybe it’s just time to move on. At some point, we have to make our own way, right?

      I look forward to your new direction and will certainly support you anyway I can. Good luck.

  10. Hi Bill,

    This reminds me a lot about my first thoughts while on vacation. What will happen if I put everything on pause for 4 weeks (it turned into 5 weeks)? I’m not sure if anything would happen actually, but I was too scared to do the experiment. Although it was kind of an experiment, because I was online just enough to do a few comments a week and one blog post. That’s like nothing compared to what I’m used to.

    I read a post a while back, about a guy that did this experiment for a few weeks (not sure how many), and he said that his traffic actually increased. But that was mainly from search engines. And that’s not something I’m that concerned with.


    • One way I look at it is, it’s would almost be like a do-over. You got here once and could certainly do it again, but maybe you would be a little bit smarter second time around, huh? I don’t know if I would have done much differently; it was kind of fun being the rookie. It did allow me to meet some pretty incredible people (like yourself).

      I’m not really worried about traffic, but now that I have it I guess I do pay attention to it.

      Hopefully you are back to your routine and clean shaven…………..:). Good to see you and thanks for the comments.

  11. Bill,
    First I have to say it… ARE YOU NUTS? I’m not giving up either! LOL I quit drinking 6 years ago… I have promised I’ll quit smoking the day we move into the Castle. I’m NOT giving up coffee OR what I have found here, online.

    I have been having some pretty serious internet connection dramas since last week and on top of it, my little girl got incredibly ill this weekend. I mention it in this way because I will essentially be gone for 2 months starting next week! I’ll be back every 10 days for 1-2 days and gone again. I’ll be writing in the field (on paper!) and will strive to have new posts for everyone when I come in, but honestly? This is all new ground for me (and the good-good folks that read what I share!) and trying to “be ready” well… we will see.

    Back to your post- I’ll have you know, that 2 friends I met online (one on FaceBook and one on Twitter) CALLED me!! (They thought I’d left for the field!- withOUT telling them!) Another friend called within minutes of me tweeting my baby was ill (104* fever) during one of the moments I had a connection. She has been an ER Nurse for 27 years! (I met her on my blog!!) During that same tweet, a LinkedIn connection in Ireland emailed me with advice and concern! Yes, people notice people they care about.

    Finally back online, I had 2 tweets (including one from YOU!~thank you) and there were 3 Direct Messages from good friends sending positive thoughts and prayers and another friend sent a get well card from another for my little 4 year old!

    We do matter, each one of us. To our readers, and dare I say…to each other!
    ~Amber-Lee (Great post!!)

    • Out in the field, huh? I apologize for not being plugged in enough to you to know everything that is going on, but that will soon change.

      If someone was putting a gun to my head I would probably have to give up the internet over coffee………..I’m addicted to both, but coffee rules…………….:).

      I do hope your daughter is on the mend; that is scary stuff. I’m glad people did reach out to you, you just wonder sometimes if anyone sees you.

      Thanks for stopping by, good luck with your trek in the field and I will definitely check out your posts.

      Have a good one……….

  12. As you know, Bill, I can give up coffee in a second! No problem there. But giving up the Internet would be tough. And it’s not because I worry that I will be forgotten. It’s that I have so much fun doing this blogging, blog-reading, commenting, tweeting stuff. I’ll shut down for the weekend, but I can’t wait to get back online to see what’s going on. We always talk about community and how important it is–so true. That’s exactly what I miss when I’m offline.

    • I agree with Marianne on this. I miss the community when I’m not on. Then there are people like YOU, Bill, who check on lil’ old me when I fall off the radar for a week. Sometimes those things can push you to keep moving forward and trying to make those connections.

      I also liked when you said: “Don’t get hung up on the ‘theys‘ because ‘they‘ are just ‘us‘ at a different point in the journey.” It’s so true that the people we see as “big fish” started out somewhere in a little pond, too. I’ve learned not to be intimidated by them. If I read their blogs and have something to say, I leave a comment. If they don’t take extra time to find out who I am and come over to my blog, that’s no big deal.

      • So true Alicia, I think if you can just enjoy the community and not get hung up on the petty stuff then you will continue to enjoy the journey. Good advice ma’am.

        I have some ups and downs, but it’s mostly all good. I think I will be around for awhile still.

        Hopefully nobody makes me have to choose between coffee and the internet…..:)

        Good to see you; thanks for the comments.

    • As long as it’s fun, then might as well be ‘all in’, right? I’m mostly all in; there are some days however I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm to jump in some of the comment streams.

      You are doing a great job and really getting out there, good for you.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by today.

      I might could quit coffee, but it would be hard…….

  13. I believe that the majority of people will not notice that you’ve disappeared from the radar if you quit blogging or commenting for any length of time. Luckily for me, I’ve built up some pretty awesome friends here online and I have a feeling that a few of them would start to get worried if after a few days they didn’t see me around at all.

    Let’s face it, everyone leads busy lives. It’s not that we don’t care because there are certain people who if they stopped blogging today I’d be upset and get in touch with them to find out if everything is okay, but it’s their lives so I would have to respect their choices.

    You are also right about the social media communities or blogging communities. You have that certain crowd that no matter how many times you participate, they will still ignore you. Not because you are a horrible person but just because they are at different places in their lives and online activities. I use to take it personally in the beginning but soon learned as it started happening to me.

    As always, thanks for this reminder Bill. I guess I’m not that special after all. 😦


    • Whachoo mean Texas; you are damn special………..

      There is definitely an ebb and flow; what is funny how there was a certain group of us that I feel we came in about the same time and some are already gone and others talking fatigue. Most of it probably comes back to what you considered success would be.

      I’m over most of the fickleness; it is what it is and most of it doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

      Thanks for doing the drive-by; always good to see you around here.

  14. Hey Bill,

    I’m going to be honest and share my thoughts on Social Media Fatigue…

    When people get started, I think they have the best intentions at heart. Quickly some realize how much time others invest and feel like they have to invest just as much…no matter the costs, in order to keep up. As a result, their purpose behind their blog leaves the space of educating readers and providing value; to just simply posting about anything in order to fulfill the “secret posting schedule requirement”.

    I stay away from this because it’s dangerous, on a long term level (because burnout will occur). I think that one must operate under their own schedule and not feel “left out” because they have a life offline (which is actually a good thing). I think it would be great practice for some to slow down, put more time into their writing because doing so will increases quality (of course) and people will come back regardless. When quality is present, people subscribe and follow because there is value for them. When there’s not quality…people stay active only out of social obligation. And we both know that social obligation isn’t definite.

    This is starting to be the thing I don’t like about social media. I’m seeing it take over some people’s lives. Investing a crazy amount of hours per week and they get nothing in return but an elevated ego and feel a little more special about themselves because they are in the IN CROWD. And to top it off they don’t even provide any quality content anymore because they are so caught up in “keeping up” that they are writing whatever in order to hit publish. It’s all about numbers and their purpose to educate or at least entertain has leaves them.

    As you may have noticed I’ve been off the scene a lot lately. Not by accident. I have a lot going on in life (good stuff), and honestly I feel like a loser when I find that I’ve been spending too much time online. For me it’s because I have a family. That’s where I spend most of my tie. I have a job…where I try to spend as little time as possible. My blog is VERY IMPORTANT to me, that’s why I take my time and post with care (thought) with the purpose of bringing value.

    I’ve had to re-evaluate why I started my site…and it wasn’t to be popular…it wasn’t to boost my ego or feel important…and I didn’t do it to write for myself. I did it for others. I did it in hopes that some of what I have to share can provide a link of inspiration and motivation for others. That being the case- I feel an immense obligation to take my time and make sure that I’m sticking to the script.

    If I took a break for a month…people wouldn’t notice. Some might, but for the most part – the net keeps evolving around and around with or without me. Once I post again, all of my readers (or a good portion) will get the update via RSS or email and come on back to checkout the work.

    You might be thinking: “who is this guy talking about”. Whoever fits the shoes. I’m not speaking down to anyone in anyway…it’s just observation. Mostly I see this in younger bloggers; the young 20-somethings. I just hate to see someone creating their identity and who they are online. As we know, the internet is a great place but it’s a dangerous one too.

    What are your thoughts. I’m sure you have seen some of the same stuff as myself.

    • I hear you loud and clear buddy and I was headed down that road. I started having a few people show up and got into “I think they like me” mode and was more concerned about staying active than what my real motives should have been; and that was to make and keep meaningful relationships and develop quality content.

      It’s craziness if you let it be and at the end of the day what does it get you; not food on the table…………

      I have noticed you haven’t been around as much and you will probably see me follow suit. I will certainly be there and it will still be the same ol’ me, but you will have to like me just the way I am. I can’t concern myself about whether I’m in the ‘in’ crowd or not.

      I like your approach and think it’s certainly a healthy one.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, much appreciated and good to see you.

  15. Bill,

    Ya, what JK Allen said. I’ll just piggy back his comment because I agree.

    “And to top it off they don’t even provide any quality content anymore because they are so caught up in “keeping up” that they are writing whatever in order to hit publish. ”

    I get in this cycle. I spend all my time on Twitter, Facebook and other blogs to come back and see a slight spike in visits THAT DAY but I failed to write. I like to believe I write quality but if I stayed off of social media I could write more. I get burned out every week. I create a schedule and don’t follow it, sometimes. It just seems like too much!

    “When there’s not quality…people stay active only out of social obligation.” That is right on! You actually want a connection and give your readers great quality.

    I have almost been at this for a year and I have compiled the bloggers and sites that have given me the most benefit. I am going to take the rest of the week to concentrate just on them. No more burn out.

    Oh, I would give up coffee. I can have Diet Pepsi and tea instead. Although, I am a coffee addict (lol), I am more of an Internet addict. I have LOL’s and little Twitter birds running thru my veins.

    Have a great day. And thx JK for your insight.


    • Social obligation; I certainly see a lot of that going on, some sites more so than others. I will start being more strategic (meaning people I like and have quality engagement, not necessarily the most popular) with my visits. It’s not tit for tat, but they will help me thin the herd.

      I have fun with it, and I want it to stay fun. Make no mistake about it, I would have never developed my community without the commenting. However, because it was developed that way it can still be somewhat tenuous.

      I’m hoping to evolve in being comfortable with ‘you will have to take me just like I am or not take me at all’ approach.

      I am a coffee addict too, but total internet shutdown would be hard…….:)

      See, this post wasn’t too scary. Was any of this discussed at #blogher11?

      Good to see you today and really appreciate you stopping by.

  16. Bill you made some really solid points. And I have some thoughts that others probably don’t want to here. I don’t blog for a living or work from home. I am a guy who works, with a family and my own set of issues. If I didn’t use social media I don’t think the general blogosphere would miss me because I am just another face trying to make some noise in a crowded mall. I think the people who would actually miss me are the people I intend to reach. These are the people who read my stories because they are actually looking for some inspiration and help in their lives. I think if I were to stop blogging I would spend my time instead of helping through my writing and actually got my hands dirty and tried to make a difference. It’s not about the numbers to me anymore. It’s about the lives I can change and the people I can help. If I wanted to become big time blogging the formula isn’t hard. And if you want it, you can have it for 999 easy payments of $99.99. You had me thinking deep on this one Bill. Great job!

    • I hear you loud and clear; I don’t mind getting my hands dirty helping others and maybe my blogging has a positive impact in that way too. Who knows; I just know I probably won’t be making any money from it so need to keep my expectations in check; whether I have 2 or 200 show up.

      I did give me the opportunity to meet you however which would have probably never happened, right? That’s a win to me………..

      Your heart is in the right place, just keep doing what you are doing.

      So good to see you Frank, I count you as one of my friends.

      Hope you have a good one.

  17. I used to be addicted to coffee. I drank cups and cups of it every day.

    And then, one day, for no other reason other than “because,” I stopped drinking coffee. That was a fall day in 2004 and I haven’t drank a sip of joe since.

    It’s easy to give up things. Just do it.

    • I don’t think there is anything I ‘couldn’t’ give up. Coffee however would have to be for a health reason, not ‘just because’. I like it too much…………:)

      Internet would be strange because that is now where you get most of your information, but I’m guessing I could survive w/out it.

      Good to see you sir, hope all is well in the Boston area.

  18. Hey Bill,

    I almost missed this post…but not so soon… 😉

    Tough questions actually. When I didn’t comment for a week and had to go offline for a week, surprisingly many sent me a message..and the first one was from you…yes 🙂

    If I didn’t post for a month…haven’t tried that yet. Earlier I used to post only once a month and the responses or lack of it made it obvious that out of sight is definitely out of mind.

    Social media is definitely fickle, but then what isn’t..really. But yes, you drop in at someone place for like EVERY post and they don’t bother to find out what or who you are AT ALL; then it’s time to rethink certain things. Maybe they are big shot bloggers who don’t find the time, but if they aren’t acknowledging your comments then it is really makes one feel… social, really?

    Coffee.. I haven’t tasted coffee for over a month now; summers make it tough to even look at coffee.. why I haven’t the iced version…I am scratching my head!

    • Fickle indeed and makes me scratch my head as I try to find direction. Ultimately, I will be doing something and it will be on my terms so we’ll just have to see how that works out.

      I think the best thing is to just plug away, build your own network and don’t get blinded by the light. I’m not sure how ‘real’ some of this is anyway.

      Everybody has a different measure of success, but I’m going to guess since most aren’t making any real money doing this then your measurement might be visitors only, huh?

      I try to keep track of my people and I definitely know the ones where I do all the lifting.

      Thanks for the late drive-by, it was appreciated.

  19. Hi Bill

    I can say I did drop the blogging and twitter for awhile.
    The thing is I got sick and very down and there was days
    all i could do was stay in bed.

    If I did go on the internet I went to FB and played the games
    there. Because I was going threw so many emotion at the time.
    To I was thinking there was no body online who care abut me.
    Well I can say I was wrong with that 2 people staid in touch with
    me. 1 I met on twitter and the other i met on a site called yuwie.
    The people that i met on yuwie which was 4 years ago this month
    really shocked me when I check on some messages and things. I
    was surprised to see people asked where i was but that where i got
    my start with social network sites.

    But if it wasn’t for the 2 people i mentioned above i wouldn’t be back
    online plus going back and reading my blogs and how I touched peoples
    life’s or help some one threw some thing threw my blog.

    I can’t thank Stan Faryna and Marie Horne Wikle enough for helping
    me threw a very rough time in my life.

    When I did come back yes my blogs was down and very few people and
    asked about me. Plus I came back to twitter when it was updated again
    so learning that was a biggie for me. But some of the people I new did ask
    where i was.

    The thing that has surprised me the most is on FB i had a person from yuwie
    that contracted me and she remembers ever thing about me but I don’t remember
    her that not like me.

    For me I’ve 1 little link to my ebay auctions on my blog
    which i don’t even remember what page its on. My blog
    is a mix up of things me,my family,twitter and helping people
    out that what i like doing .

    if i was to leave i’m not sure who would miss me.
    I’m just a mommy that all

    • Unfortunately, you would think as social as social media is supposed to be, it is very easy to just get lost in the shuffle and be forgotten about. It is very fickle and frustrating at times, but it can also be fun and rewarding. I’m learning, but I’ve had moments too….

      Stan is the man and he’s good people.

      Thanks for coming back to an older post; it’s always interesting to know people actually still read these things……………:)

  20. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with
    SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Thanks!

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